Options by Naila

Options by Naila # “You have misunderstood the entire concept!” “No,I haven’t.” “I am telling you these coals are gonna eat us up alive!” “No they won’t.” Shaista replied curtly. Kami clenched his teeth. “I won’t let you sell your land.” Kami told her. She rolled her eyes. “Listen Kaami, that’s my last chance.. It’s...

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Joshua Alderson
2 months ago

Naila, great work! As an artist I believe the best way to grow is by constructive critique. Only by good honest pain will we grow in our crafts. Your situation is unique in that English is not your first language. I like to give my friends 2 things: one thing I think that worked well and one thing I think that can use improvement.

Improvement – while I found the story to be enjoyable to read, I would improve on the flow of the story. I felt like I could almost experience the goth and working at flow could take that a little further. You have something here that gave me something visual without even describing all that much. That was great, but I think you should chip away at this story, work at some of the rough edges, and submit it for more input from the community.

What worked – With that I must say I found your story to be very positive and uplifting. It’s nice to read a story about a community that bands together and looks out for each other. There was good humor too. I would love to read another draft if you decide to make one. Thank you so much for this story!

Amina Kulzhanova
2 months ago

Hi Naila,

I like your story and dialogues (which are I believe always hard one), especially when people were chatting and doing guesswork. English is not my first language too, and I know how challenging it can feel to convey your message. Keep up your work.

Didi Bono
2 months ago

Hi Naila, I enjoyed the take on the story, the dialogues too were lively and helped imagining people and places. You managed to give a sense of the place without too many descriptions. As to improvement, maybe you could edit some bits of the story, but good work!

2 months ago

Hi Naila,
This is a wonderful story that warms the heart with its message of how a good intention is rewarded. You brought out the power of social media and how it has reached even the most interior and backward places. That comment about “raw beauty” says so much in just two words!

For non-English words, you could try putting in a glossary at the beginning or the end of the story instead of writing the meaning in brackets within the story.

I think that if you had written this for a greater word count, you could have kept the pace steady. Here, because you had to fit it all into 1800 words, you probably had to rush? But maybe you can now go back and try to edit the story – the scenes at the beginning have too much detail, the ones towards the end have very less. So, by cutting some parts from the initial story and adding more detail to the later parts, you’ll be able to make it evenly paced.

By the way, why did Kami go from tending his cattle to teaching in a school? Is that a part of this story?

I could connect well with your story because these conflicts are present in remote parts of my country, too. The words “chotu” and “lassi” are very common in Hindi 🙂

Good work with this story, and best wishes for the ones still to come!

1 month ago

Hi Naila,
What an incredible and very real accounting. For someone whose first language it not English you have done a marvelous job.

Your writing engages the reader from the ‘get go’ and doesn’t let go of them until the end.

The only challenge I saw was ‘spacing’ between sentences. And I know that can be a ‘copy and paste’ issue. Double check your story after you copy and paste it in the form to ensure all the italics, empty lines, and spacing after a period are still there, and you’ll be good to go.

Keep writing… you have skill and talent.


1 month ago

I love this story. It is full of hope and also tells of how important it is to protect our environment. Good job. I ignored the spelling errors.